How the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Majors Can be Improved
The Counter-Strike Majors are the most prestigious events we have within the scene. By winning such an event, a team makes its mark in the annals of history. After all, the tournament brings some of the highest ranked competitors from across the globe. It also offers a significant amount of money and has support from the game’s developer Valve. Those are all compelling reasons to watch a Major. However, as time has passed, the Counter-Strike circuit has grown in order to increase the relevancy of the Majors, the tournament needs improvements.
Dollar, dollar bills
The first Counter-Strike Major appeared at the end of 2013. At the time, it offered an unheard sum of money of $250,000. For comparison's sake, the next premier level tournament of 2013 would’ve been ESWC 2013 with $25,000 up for grabs. Teams, players and fans noticed the improvement in the prize pool and realized this was to be one of the most prestigious set of tournaments CS:GO would have to offer. No one could really compete with the Major in that regard. As time went on, TO’s would begin to pour more money into their own prize pools. Yet, a few years later, Valve made a call that quadrupled the amount of money being put into the Major prize pool, reaching an unheard of price of $1,000,000. Now, three years later, TO’s are yet again able to reach similar amounts in their own prize pools. WESG, ESL, and Faceit are just some of the names that make the list. The teams may not care too much about the prize pool increase, but it could help create more fandom around an upcoming Major.
Attendance is key
The Counter-Strike Majors have a long and tedious qualification process. If you begin your journey from the very bottom, you must go through the open qualifiers, the Minor system and the main Major qualifier itself. This process goes hand-in-hand with Valve’s vision for the event. They imagine the Major as a world championship, which would mean allowing only the most skilled participants from across the globe to compete. But if you want to see the best of the best competing, the Majors don’t always offer that. Due to the qualification process, if you finished last in the previous Major, you must go back to the Minors. If there’s an unsuccessful Minor and the team goes out last, that ends their Major journey. It would be a big improvement to have a point-based invite system, rather than the Legends spot. Depending on the team's ranking between the Majors, that could determine if they’re worthy of an invite. This should improve the quality of teams participating and the fans would have an easier time identifying the competition. The other eight teams can be comprised of the qualification system to keep Valve’s vision intact.
In-game customization in Counter-Strike has played a part in how the esports ecosystem functions. For better or worse, skins are a feature of the game. Valve have endorsed the community to open some of the earliest cases in CS:GO titled “esports case”. Their description reads: “a portion of the proceeds from the key used to unlock this will help support CS:GO professional tournament prize pools.” They’ve gone away from this model of monetization and have moved on to stickers. Yet, even stickers have become somewhat stale. The only reason for purchasing a sticker is if it’s a new team or player, since there’s no real point in purchasing the 8th edition of an NiP sticker. Unlike the cases before, these stickers support the teams directly. But what if we were to combine the monetization method of the stickers and the cases? The latter option could directly influence the prize money, akin to Dota2 and their legendary TI system. This would mean the fans have a more tangible way of supporting the Majors.
The CS:GO Majors are what makes Counter-Strike great. It’s a grandiose event, which attracts spectators from across the globe, but in recent years it has become stale and could use a fresh coat of paint. By adding some of the aforementioned features to it, we could attract new audiences and keep the existing ones satisfied.
Written by: Dainius "sir danny" dauksa